Tsunomichi's name is actually Wonomichi. I used 'Tsunomichi' because that's what I had seen in the manga. But it seems it was a typo ( a huge one in my opinion). So Tsunomichi is now Wonomichi, his real name.
Caught Between The Sacrifice
Chapter 2: Cause & Effect
The first thing Reborn noticed when he woke up was that the room was smaller. He couldn't help but think of yesterday's events. Damn Checkerface. Reborn couldn't help but feel utterly weak in that bastard's presence, he had all the control. He rubbed his forehead in exhaustion, things were getting terribly out of hand, but then he stopped.
He lowered his hand to eye level and couldn't believe what he was seeing. It was his adult hand. With both hands he touched either side of his face. His cheeks weren't chubby anymore. He quickly rose from the bed he was on but momentarily lost his balance. He regained it, as he made his way to the mirror.
It was him. Not the infant, but the dangerous, feared, powerful hitman that is (not was) the best in the world. It made no sense; he should still be a baby. He looked at his tie; the pacifier was still there. Then he remembered what Checkerface said last night.
'So this is what he meant about the changes?'
Reborn could see in his reflection that his mouth frowned. Checkerface was up to something devious and he knew, regrettably, Tsuna would be involved. Tsuna was caught in the middle, Caught between this war. Reborn felt his instincts twist his stomach at the mention of Tsuna's name.
It was his fault. He blamed no one but himself. He was the one who kept insisting Tsuna fight for him and looked where it led to. He knew that it wasn't about him anymore, it was about Tsuna. He had to save Tsuna and protect him from Checkerface.
Reborn's eyes then narrowed, 'Why would he want to take Tsuna in the first place? '
He looked at the room he was in, it was Tsuna's bedroom. Iemitsu must have found patted his head to make sure Leon was still there. Yup, he his. Reborn then came to a conclusion.
'Either Checkerface knows something about Tsuna that no one knows, not even Tsuna himself...'
'Or Tsuna has been hiding something for a very long time...'
Reborn hoped he was wrong but it was the only explanation that made sense. He just hoped that he would he able to save Tsuna, not only physically but mentally. He couldn' t imagine what Checkerface was dong to Tsuna in a short amount of time.
Reborn lowered his fedora as he gave a dry chuckle. The irony of it all.
'I guess I have to save you from the villain, makes me the hero.'
He walked to the door and knew as soon as he opened it, things would be different. For better or for worse, he's going to save Tsuna.
Even if it killed him.
"How do we have original bodies back kora?"
"I don't know Colonello, but Checkerface is obviously up to something."
"Fon is right. I don't like how things are right now, it's suspicious." Lal said as she crossed her arms.
"It's because of Tsuna."
All the Arcobaleno looked at Reborn, whom was leaning against the door way. Reborn looked at Skull and Uni, both still in their hospital beds but awake.
All the Arcobaleno looked down or away at the mention of Tsuna's name. They couldn't help but feel useless as they knew Checkerface has Tsuna. Uni and Skull felt the tension in the air. It was sad and desperate.
"Reborn ojisan… what happened?" Uni asked silently.
Reborn lowered his fedora, "I'm not going to lie to you Uni...Checkerface kidnapped Tsuna."
Skull, was lying flat in his bed, but sat up quickly, "WHAT?"
"Where did he take him?" Uni asked, worried.
Reborn sighed,"We don't know..."
All stayed silent as they didn't know what to say. But then Viper manifested himself in the room. Verde, stayed quiet during the whole conversation, finding no real interest.
"Haha now you're all here he he he!"
All looked at the window and saw Wonomichi jump in. Everyone tensed as they saw Wonomichi enter the room. He removed his gloves, the visible ink marks on his hand. Reborn stared at the brief case that Wonomichi brought.
"Boss has changed the rules of this war. But first all Arcobaleno must wear these new watches. Then report to the Namimori Shrine with their representatives, even if they were defeated.
"You have exactly 15 minutes. Oh and a personal message from boss himself." Wonomichi gave a grin as he lowered his fedora and puts the brief case on the floor.
His mind repeating the pain he inflicted on the boy. The screams, the trembling, the pouring blood, was still so fresh in his mind. He couldn't help but give a cold small laugh. It put the Arcobaleno on guard.
"The boy...it's too late."
He jumped back through the window and disappeared. He made his way to reservoir point. He wished he could have seen their reactions but he wanted to live not die. And he was sure he would have been massacred in that room.
Reborn felt his eyes go wide. He didn't believe what Wonomichi told him. Guilt flooded his mind. Too late.
Was he too late? Did that mean Tsuna was dead? Reborn didn't notice that he clutched his hands into fists that his hand was turning a ashy white, pale. He was clenching his jaw tight. His body stiffened so visible, that immediately everybody worried.
He turned around and left the room. He had to get his representatives and go the meeting point. The faster he got there, the faster he'll see Checkerface.
That means the quicker he'll drill a hole in that bastards fucking face.
'He'll pay. I'll kill him. I'll kill him.'
'I'll end HIM!'
Tsuna felt that he was once again shackled in the "Royal" boss chair. But he didn't know where he was. His mind felt strangely blank. Like a huge piece of his memory was deleted.
He just remembered he had fought Checkerface and then nothing.
"You're reactions are amusing, quite entertaining." A voice ranged out.
Tsuna jumped in surprise then narrowed as he saw Checkerface sit right across him. He couldn't do anything but look.
"I bet your mind feels blank. Its because I, in a way, removed that memory." He casually stated.
"What?" Tsuna sounded lost, border line scared.
"I broke you. You fell to pieces. Tsunayoshi...who are going to fight?"
It was a robotic statement. Tsuna eyes blinked in disbelief. What did he just say? He knew something was wrong. So wrong. Tsuna knew Checkerface did something to him.
"W-what did you do to me?" Tsuna asked nervously.
"You really don't listen do you? I told you I broke you. You are now in my control.
"As much as I wanted to show everyone how pathetic and defeated you are, I would have had no fun. Your emotions show your despairation, your fear, and that needs to be clearly exposed. And having you do my orders like a mindless drown wouldn't have done the job.
"So I removed the moment when I broke you boy. But, I made sure that you obey my orders. Even if it is against your will." Checkerface nonchalantly said.
"But why me? Why kidnap me!" Tsuna screamed at him.
"It's simple. I have chosen you as the next Sky Arcobaleno."
Tsuna felt the blood leave from his face. "Who are the others?"
Checkerface gave a cold smile, "I guess I should tell you, since you seem you're about to cry." Tsuna was slightly trembling; the feeling of being absolutely useless overwhelming him.
"Cloud Arcobaleno...Hibari Kyouya."
Tsuna couldn't stop the gasp that escaped his throat.
Tsuna was shocked to core. Four guardians. He was supposed to protect them and he couldn't do that. Lambo was young, too young. He wouldn't survive that much power and he already was a five year old. He would die. Takeshi...Chrome...Hibari... why them? Was there anything he could do?
"I didn't pick any from Uni's team. Byakuran's group is not amusing as yours Tsunayoshi. I absolutely despise that dreaded eye of Mukuro."
Tsuna was going to speak but then Checkerface gave a simple command of "Silence." He opened his mouth but no words wanted to come out. He knew he could speak but why couldn't he say anything!
"Remember boy I have control." Checkerface reminded him.
"I wouldn't want you to reveal what I just told you just yet. I want to see how you will try though. But the new Arcobaleno generation is plan B really."
Tsuna's eyes went wide 'What is plan A then?'
Checkerface gave a dark chuckle at the boy's curiousity.
'Did he read my mind?' Tsuna couldn't help but think, a little afraid that he knew that Checkerface does have that ability.
"Read, know, control your mind boy."
Checkerface walked behind Tsuna's chair, leaning against it. "I want the Tri-ni-sette."
"But I've tried countless times and I never could. But I believe, this time, I will get what I'm seeking for. And that's because of you Tsunayoshi."
"I'm sure you heard Uni tell you the Tri-Ni-Set song...
"The Sea knows no bounds.
The Clam passes down its form from Generation to Generation.
The Rainbow appears from time to time before fading away..."
Checkerface walked around to face Tsuna; he roughly grabbed him by the chin, forcing Tsuna to look at him. Tsuna stared at the mask, he could feel a giddy but merciless intent radiating off Checkerface.
"Though she doesn't know the last verse. 'Deep within the clam lays the prize. A rare but true power, choosing its moment to bloom. When the time is right, it shall form. The Pearl of the Clam shall exist.'"
Tsuna opened his mouth but again, nothing came out. Pearl? Checkerface was after a pearl?
'But where is it? What is it exactly?'
"That's what I want to know as well. Though the whereabouts of this pearl is something I don't know. But Vongola is the clam, and the pearl chooses when to appear. Nine generations and nothing. I know it must connect with the Sky ring. I highly believe it will appear soon, by you Tsunayoshi.
"The power is all of the Tri-ni-sette. The pearl is the Tri-ni-sette. The Arcobaleno is the first layer of defense, then the Mare, and finally Vongola. Those three are barriers to protect the balance of the universe. But many believe that the rings and pacifiers are the Tri-Ni-Sette, they are just the guardians. This generation, all of them are connecting together. All of them revolve around you...
"So tell me Tsunayoshi...where is the Pearl?"
Tsuna was paralyzed in his seat. Cold. Dark. Evil. Monster. Checkerface terrified him that he felt he was going to die. That this was his end.
Tsuna shook his head, 'I-I don't kn-know...I never heard of the pe-pearl befor-re...'
Checkerface released his grip on Tsuna's chin; he was contemplating on whether or not he should look in the boy's memories. But he knew if he did, and the pearl was connected to Tsunayoshi, it would never appear. Then again, maybe the boy wasn't aware that he knew the location of the pearl. Hidden in the deepest part if his subconscious. Checkerface knew how memories keep you stable, away from any discomfort. Then again, they could lead you astray.
He had to bring the boy at the very edge. To the very corner of his mind. People tend to reveil their hidden inhibition when they are at their weakest point. He felt he had nothing to lose. If this generation failed him, he could always wait for the next one.
He slammed his palm on Tsuna's forehead, forcing his head to hit the back rest of the chair. Tsuna went pale as snow from fear and blood loss. What was Checkerface going to do now?
"As much as I would like to break you again, I need you to be somewhat responsive. So Tsunayoshi...
"Are you insane or sane?"
'I-I'm sane. I'm sane! What are you doing Checkerface?'
He sneered dangerously; a cold shiver slithered down Tsuna's spine.
"Are you? Maybe you're not aware of it."
'At least I know how sane I am unlike you!'
A loud but whipping slap resonated. Tsuna gritted his teeth but spitted out the blood from his mouth. His face looked at one direction, the force of Checkerface's backhand slap moving his head. He didn't know he was going to get that reaction. But Tsuna knew he just put himself in a hell hole of trouble.
"Boy you have no idea what sanity is. I should take away yours to let you experience the true sensation of insanity. But count yourself lucky boy. The next time you try to smart mouth me...I'll make sure to leave you devastated. Understood?"
Tsuna nodded his head frantically.
"The pain should be returning any second now."
As soon as those words left his mouth, Tsuna's body jerked backwards. Checkerface decided to have another one-on-one. Tsuna was sure that he was going to die. But another two injections and the pain was gone. Though this time it lasted longer, which only meant the pain would be worse. Tsuna desperately tried to scream but his body was listening to Checkerface, not him.
"Let's give your dear family a show."
Tsuna just kept repeating 'NO NO NO NO NO!' He didn't want anybody to see him like this. He didn't want them to panic, he wanted them to get away from him; he was going to kill them against his will. He didn't want them to see how defeated he is.
He was tired. And he wanted this pain to end.
"It's too late Tsunayoshi..." Checkerface placed something around his neck.
And maybe it will...
"Welcome everyone." Checkerface greeted. He spread his arms as if he was ringmaster of a circus.
A purple drape like curtain covered the front of the shrine, making it look like an actual stage. All the representatives and Arcobaleno were there, all wondering what Checkerface was going to do.
"Arcobaleno's, you are wearing your watches correct?"
They nodded but Reborn remained still. It was so hard holding back. He wanted to tear that bastard apart but they were holding him back. He wanted to kill Checkerface.
"You see I got bored with this war, so I decided to change things up a bit. Your watches are locators. The closer you are to the target the louder the sound. But as soon as you find the target you must kill them."
Everybody was taken back at the request Checkerface was making. It was odd but insane. He wanted them to kill an unknown stranger.
Checkerface places both hands on his cane, "Hesitating to do so will cause the death of another. Trust me...you don't want him to die yet."
The drape fell. Screams of horror, terrified gasps, and hitched breaths released all at once. They all stared, they couldn't tear themselves away. They never expected him, him, of all people to go through such torture. It was evident, clear for all to see.
The hole and tears of his shirt revealed wounds. His pants weren't any better. Dried and fresh blood was still there. He was red, white, blue, purple and black. Red for the blood the dried in his hair, that ran down from his back to his legs, that creeked down his arms and onto raw scraped flesh, and that rivered out of the cuts from his legs to pool at his feet. White as snow from bloodloss; his skin so pale that he looked haunting.
Blue and purple bruises from the beatings he received, with yellow and green surrounding the old ones. The torture and one-side battles made every bruise pulse ache along with the memory that came with it. The newest bruise was already forming at his cheek from the recent blow. Black burns were on his hands and feet. But these burns were made by Tsuna himself.
Checkerface took away his Vongola X ring. His ring contained his gloves and Natsu; those two items acted like a medium to control his power. But without them he would cause more harm to himself rather than the enemy. Fighting Checkerface made him desperate. Tsuna didn't realize how pure and hot his flames were until he felt it burn his hands. Finding no choice he used his feet instead but once again they got burned too.
His head hung low. His chest barely rose. He looked like death. So pale, so fragile, so weak. He was death. The door was open and Death was beckoning Tsuna to walk in. Welcoming him like an honored guest. But Tsuna was trapped; he could walk in and finally meet Death or turn around and live in pain.
"What did you do to him?" Reborn growled.
Checkerface merely smiled, "He's gone Reborn, and it's your entire fault."
Reborn looked at Tsuna, "Tsuna. Tsuna! Tsuna answer me!"
'I can't speak Reborn.' Tsuna thought. But he slightly raised his head, maybe which would calm Reborn down a bit.
'But Checkerface is right. I am gone. I don't feel myself anymore.' Tsuna thought with a repressed small but giddy smile.
Tsuna felt his face become paler. This way of thinking, it wasn't him. It was the broken part inside. Then Tsuna realized that Checkerface lied to him. He didn't remove that memory he just sealed it. But why? Then it daunted him.
No...He wouldn't do that...what am I thinking! He does plan to! Tsuna didn't even notice when he released a shuddered whimper, an empty sob. Tsuna raised his head and the cruel smirk Checkerface gave him answered his fear.
"Ahh...ngh..." Tsuna tried to voice out at his friends, his family. But all came out was a struggle of incoherent sounds. He wanted to scream at them.
'Runaway. Run! Please run!' Tsuna opened his mouth but nothing. Frustrated tears cascaded down his cheek as his teeth were visibly gritting.
Reborn and everyone else became worried. Tsuna was motionless one second and then he trying to speak. But they all noticed he couldn't speak. A scary thought entered their minds.
"Tsuna isn't talking. You don't think?" Takeshi didn't finish, a little afraid at his own thought.
"That fucker!" Hayato snarled. He was already seething, but if this fucker took Tsuna's voice, he was going to rip him to shreds.
"Poor Tsunayoshi. They don't understand, do they? Give them a laugh. It will surely ease them." Checkerface said, effectively quieting everybody from their individual chats. To everyone it looked like a silly request, a stupid suggestion. But to Tsuna it was an order.
One that he couldn't fight, one that he must obey. But he tried, he bit his lower lip. His hands gripped the armrests for dear life. He could feel a familiar rumble in chest. Blood started to drip down his chin.
"Laugh Tsunayoshi. Laugh."
The dam bursted open and an uncontrollable laughter erupted. It was filled with morbid happiness, lost sanity, longing, defeat, and sadness. A aching sadness that it rippled into everyones soul.
Tsuna's laughing stopped. He was now panting. Before the laugh, he was already struggling to breathe. But now, air barely made his way into his lungs.
"Now Arcobaleno. Ready, set, go." Checkerface said. The watches on the Arcobaleno ringed. They all spreaded out, with their representatives following right behind them. Checkerface watched them all leave, a smirk playfully etching on his face. "Also I forgot to mention that there is a time limit. Failure to come back on time will equal death."
"Isn't that right Tsunayoshi?"
A whimper echoed in his throat as a hand was placed on his shoulder. He could hear Checkerface's voice in his head, telling him everything, everything, he planned to do.
"Scream Tsunayoshi. Scream."
A scream ripped in the air. Wherever everybody was running to, they stopped. They all turned around except one. Reborn continued to run as much as that scream caused him so much pain; it would be a waste of time to turn around and listen. He had to save Tsuna.
He had to, he has to, he must save Tsuna.
Because it was killing him. And if he couldn't save Tsuna...if Tsuna died...
He would make sure he would at least die with Tsuna.
He would die by his side.
Reborn decided to ditch Hayato, Takeshi, Ryohei, and Chrome. They were pulling him down, the faster he killed the target the better. His watch beeped louder as he made his way to the dark and seemingly empty part of the Namimori forest. It was quiet as he made his way to the lake. His watch beeped faster and he ran to the edge of the lake.
He stopped and looked down the hill. It was Tsuna. His feet in the shining crystal water though his blood that dripped down his legs died the water pink. The moon illuminated every single damage on his body and the ring on his finger. Tsuna slightly turned his head to face Reborn, with regret and sadness filling his eyes.
"You shouldn't have come here Reborn. You should've let me die..." Tsuna voiced quietly.
Reborn made his way to very shore line, "What are you talking about Tsuna?"
Tsuna turned his head around, tears streaming down his face. "You have to let me die; you have to get away from me! Checkerface hehe Ah! He still has control over me!"
"I can't let you die Tsuna!" Reborn reasoned. Taking a few steps further, making Tsuna walk back. 'What does he mean about control? '
"Neither can I Reborn...besides I was chosen..." Tsuna said so quietly, so lost, that Reborn almost believed that wasn't Tsuna.
"For what?" Reborn asked carefully, a little scared.
Tsuna turned around completely; a white light blinking pacifier was around his neck. Reborn felt absolutely numb as he raised his wrist. His watch was blinking a white light, the same as Tsuna's pacifier.
"For this...it's too late for him to be saved."
Checkerface stood on top of a hill. Looking down on both of them. He knew Reborn figured out what happened.
"Tsuna is the fucking target?"
Reborn was beyond pissed. Beyond any fury he has ever felt. Checkerface has them running around like idiots, complete fools. He was mocking them straight at their faces. Reborn was ready to rampage and massacre him out of existence.
"He is. Remember hesitating to do so will cause a death of another." He snapped his fingers.
Wonomichi appeared with Iemitsu in front. His forehead was bleeding and his hands were restrained. A annoyed scowl was on his face but then his eyes darted to Tsuna's form. A dreaded gasp escaped his lips. He started struggle against Wonomichi's grip. Wonomichi acted fast and blocked a nerve, causing Iemitsu to fall to the ground.
"Damn it!" Iemitsu said. He was bait, nothing but a pawn in Checkerface's little game. He couldn't help his own son, he only made things worse.
"Well what are you waiting for Reborn? Remember the rules. If you're not going to attack first Reborn, please allow me to assist." Checkerface announced.
Reborn wondered what the hell Checkerface was talking about. An orange flame solved his answer. He gracefully swerved left and right to avoid the orange flamed fists. Tsuna was attacking him. But he didn't understand why Tsuna would follow Checkerface's orders. Tsuna stopped and gave Reborn an empty look then he punched his gloved fist in the ground.
"I'm sorry Reborn."
30 feet ice spikes erupted from the ground. Reborn jumped one from another avoiding as quickly as he could. But he felt drained; he didn't understand why he felt so weak.
"You should have run Reborn. Your time as an Arcobaleno is almost up. Please let me die." Tsuna pleaded. He knew Checkerface's plan but a simple order didn't allow him to say not one word of it. He wanted to protect them, all of them. It was already too late for him.
He was already dying. The drugs had painful affects, terrible side effects. Tsuna covered his mouth but couldn't stop the blood he vomited. He could feel a nosebleed approaching. At this rate he won't be able to stop this. He had a plan but he needed the pacifier around Reborn's neck. But the closer he got Reborn; his body would go to automatic mode and start attacking Reborn. He had no control of himself whatsoever.
If he died, Checkerface wouldn't win but wouldn't lose either. But it would give them time, maybe a small amount but that was all. Then Tsuna felt his wind pipe starting to get tighter and smaller. He grabbed his throat and with his wide eyes he saw Checkerface, with a wicked smile on his face. It was getting harder to breathe; he could barely get puffs of air.
"I did warn of the hesitation did I not? Oh well, I guess I have to wait until the next generation…" Checkerface said nonchalantly. He raised his hand; it looked like he was crushing something in his hand.
Tsuna could hear Checkerface in his mind once again. He did have control of his mind, which also meant his body. He couldn't fight that he was forced on his knees, gasping for air. He felt the leash on his mind being released, but on purpose. What was Checkerface up to! It was making him go insane! Insane…
"I understand now…" Tsuna whispered. It all made sense.
Tsuna felt the grip on his neck disappear but he swears he feels so lost to the world, so disconnected.
Why was the world so slow? Was that Reborn running to him…why did he look so…scared? Horrified? He couldn't explain. Why could he hear his father scream? Why was his vision blurry? He looked down. Maybe it was that sword that stabbed him above his heart? He smiled. Yes, that was it.
Checkerface killed him.
Tsuna could feel Reborn get on his knees as he held his shoulders. He saw Reborn's fedora fly off Reborn's head. He couldn't even feel as the Reborn pulled the blade out of him. Reborn held him against his chest, gathering Sun Flames in his hand and laid it on him, but it was useless. He knew Reborn didn't have enough power to even heal anymore. Tsuna, with a weak hand, grasped the pacifier softly.
"Stay with me Tsuna! Listen to my voice! Tsuna. Tsuna! Don't you dare die on me!" Reborn demanded, he could fix this. He knew could.
"Reborn…" It was too soft, below a whisper.
He applied pressure on the wound. It wouldn't stop. He gathered more energy in his hand, flowing it to Tsuna's body, why wasn't it working. Maybe if he-
Reborn looked down; he couldn't stop the grieving sound that released from his mouth. This couldn't be happening. This shouldn't be happening. Why couldn't he do anything? He noticed the soft glow from his pacifier as Tsuna weakly held it in his hand.
"Reborn…I found a loophole…silly isn't i-" Tsuna stopped to violently release a cough, blood splats staining Reborn's face but he couldn't look away.
"You stupid boy! I'LL FINISH YOU!" Checkerface roared. His plan was ruined by that stupid mongrel Sawada. He rushed forward but shots of Rain flames stopped him.
"Reborn…"Tsuna said softly, his time was coming. He could feel tears slide down his face.
"Reborn…everything is alright now…" Tsuna spoke quietly. He no longer had any strength, the glow from the pacifier died, leaving a gray looking pacifier instead of a bright yellow. His hand fell limp but Reborn caught it in his own.
Reborn gripped the pale, cold hand, "Don't die on me Tsuna."
Tsuna could only give a small smile, "Don't cry Reborn…"
Reborn eyes widened, he knew that smile.
"Tsuna…please…please…please…" He begged. He clutched Tsuna further to his chest, afraid that he'll disappear. This couldn't be happe-
"Thank you Reborn."
He was gone.
Reborn felt tears fall down his face the second Tsuna went limp in his arms. It was his entire fault. He failed. His promises, his determination, all failed. He lowered Tsuna to the ground, as he did he noticed the blood that soaked his shirt, seeping through and his skin.
Tsuna stopped the curse, that's all he knew. A roaring rage started to form as he looked at Tsuna. Damn it all. Damn it damn it damn it damn it.
He didn't bother to wipe his tears, Tsuna deserved them. He reached down to pick up his fedora and putting it on. He gritted his teeth. He turned around, a evil dark aura started to spread. He felt his strength return, something vicious, something primal was taking over. He knew it was cold, merciless, calculating.
He was going to kill Checkerface if it is the last he ever does. No matter how long. The reason was plain and fucking clear.
Checkerface killed him.
Preview for Chapter 3:
"The Tri-Ni-Sette…is awakening!"
"Checkerface won't stop until he has me."
AN: I'm not dead. I've been very busy. But I've been going through a hard time. I thank you for reading.
Tsuna's death killed Reborn, tragic huh? It gets better, trust me. And if you were inspired and would like to use and idea that was birth by this fic, PLEASE PM me before you do or else I'm going to think you are stealing it.
Thank you very much for reading! Please review it keeps me alive and going.